In most cases, trips start with choosing hotels and flights, then restaurant and museum reservations fall into line later. But when summer rolls around and hordes of travelers head to Europe, high-profile museum tickets should take priority. Trust us—the special spots sell out, so if you’re headed to any these destinations, check ticket availability early, and buy those ideal dates the minute you know your plans.
Museum: Churchill War Rooms
What to Know: fast-track tickets to Churchill’s war bunker and underground museum are timed-entry, so you’ll need to know the day you’d like to visit as well as a specific time. Arrive early to be sure you don’t miss your slot.
Museum: Eiffel Tower
What to Know: even with pre-purchased tickets, expect long lines and a lot of waiting. But if going to the top of the famous tower falls on your must-do list, plan months in advance.
Museum: Galleria dell’Accademia
What to Know: A visit to see Michaelangelo’s David is a highlight of any trip to Florence, but this is one spot where a guide can really bring the sculpture, as well as the rest of the museum, to life. And yes, that also requires some ahead planning, but they’ll secure the tickets for you.
Museum: Last Supper
What to Know: Leonardo’s Last Supper allows only 30 visitors in per time slot, and the access sells out quickly. Be flexible, and if you lose your chance at buying the authorized tickets through the official website, sometimes it’s possible to join a larger group that visits as part of a multi-hour city tour.
Museum: Galeria Borghese
What to Know: Access to this museum in the Borghese gardens sells in two-hour increments, starting with 9-11 am, and ending with 5-7 pm. While ticket sales aren’t as competitive as the Last Supper, time slots do sell out, so if a visit here must be included on your itinerary, start by seeing what’s available and plan around it. Tip: fast-track Colosseum tickets and early access to the Vatican also can become scarce, so book those early as well.
Museum: Anne Frank House
What to Know: Tickets go on sale three months ahead of time, and there are no short cuts. Resales are prohibited as are outside tour guides, so if you can’t secure entry through the official channels, you might be out of luck. Visit the Verzets (Resistance) Museum first for an overview of life in Holland under occupation before touring Anne Frank’s home.